I had the most amazing time last night at the Lady Gaga ArtPop Ball! I didn't think a high-ticket Madison Square Garden sized venue could evoke the Art Raves of my youth, but she made it happen and more. The costumes in the concert were some of the most creative pieces I have ever seen in pop overseen by fashion director Brandon Maxwell and costume designer Perry Meek.
Lady Gaga opened with a golden angel type costume of wings, Swarovski encrusted body suit and huge metallic gazing ball embedded in her chest, courtesy of artist Jeff Koons. Next, was the jewel encrusted seashell bikini paired with a massive hair style on the star while the dancers were clad in bright alien costumes.
My favorite costume had to be the Octopus design with inflatable tentacles. The silhouette of this emulated the Vegas showgirl outfits with long train and dramatic headpiece. The bright polka dot pattern made her look like an anime fantasy. The inflatable elements on the her and her dancers costumes were very clever. In addition to the visual statement of the shapes, the lightness of those pieces made it easy for them to maneuver them as part of their dance or looked great in motion as they moved across the stage.
Lady Gaga had a more stripped down outfit of black vinyl pant, top and green wig. She did a full costume change right onstage from this outfit to the ravers outfit of crazy braided wig, vinyl babydoll dress and furry legwarmers. The dancing stadium, outfit and pumping techno beats totally brought me back to nights at the Limelight in the 1990's. Yes, I just dated myself, and yes, I have attended a few fuzzily remembered art raves back in the day.
Her finale look was a couture-inspired white and crystal dress paired with a long wig. She gave a shout-out to fashion, Donatella Versace and a strutted the stage like a runway. The hair was down her back like a wraith, the dress had elements of Thierry Mugler.
Back in my school days, I worshiped the tour costumes of Madonna from Jean-Paul Gaultier and Dolce & Gabbana. She raised the bar in mixing culture and high fashion as the new standard for concert chic and Lady Gaga inherited this tradition with pride.
Photos by Mariana Leung